Category Minority Veterans

RACISM KEPT CALIFORNIAN CARTER FROM RECEIVING MEDAL OF HONOR UNTIL 34 YEARS AFTER HIS PASSING

On March 23, 1945, Army Private Edward A. Carter Jr. and three others in his tank squad came under attack by German forces as they neared Speyer, Germany. Their tank ablaze, the four soldiers ran toward cover across the field. Two died, another was wounded. Carter knocked out two enemy machine gun nests and engaged […]

WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH AND CALVET HOME LOAN SUCCESS STORIES ALL ROLLED INTO ONE

During Women’s History Month each March, CalVet Connect tells the stories of some exceptional women veterans who live in the Golden State. This year, CalVet’s Home Loans program turns 100 years old, giving us opportunities to write about our veteran clients as well. Eboni Strader represents both. She’s a disabled U.S. Army veteran and single […]

FROM KHOBAR TOWERS TO COURTROOM ADVOCACY; VETERAN’S STORY A WORK IN PROGRESS

On the evening of June 25, 1996, Latia Suttle settled in for the night in her quarters in the United States Army’s housing at the Khobar Towers complex in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. At least she thought she had. “We were there on a peacekeeping mission,” Suttle said. The marble floor suddenly sank beneath her feet. […]

Vietnam War veteran Phillip Willis discusses racial discrimination during Black History Month.

A THIRST FOR EQUALITY: DYING NAVY VETERAN’S STORY RESONATES AS BLACK HISTORY MONTH LESSON

One summer afternoon in the late 1950s, eight-year-old Phillip Willis, Jr. took a break from mowing lawns at a home in Jackson, Mississippi. Having worked up a thirst, Willis asked his employer, a white woman, for a glass of water.   That simple and reasonable request required minimal physical effort on the woman’s part. Mainly, it required mere humanity and compassion for a young Black kid toiling in the stifling heat and humidity. She begrudgingly gave him the water, Willis said, along with a not-so-subtle reminder that he […]

IN THEIR HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: ANOTHER CALVET SUCCESS STORY

A few weeks ago, U.S. Army veteran Eric Ornelas and his September bride, Marie, went shopping for lights and other Christmas decorations. For some homeowners, that means picking up more LED strings as they strive to make their homes visible from the International Space Station. Others might scour the clearance racks after the holidays to […]

SHINING LIGHT ON CALIFORNIA’S TWO JEWISH MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS AS HANUKKAH BEGINS

With eight days of Hanukkah – the Jewish Festival of Lights – beginning tonight, CalVet would like to salute the memories of the 18 known Jewish Medal of Honor recipients, two of whom were from California.  Their names grace the Medal of Honor Wall at CalVet Headquarters in downtown Sacramento, and their stories are worth […]

WITH RATIFICATION OF THE 13th AMENDMENT, SLAVERY IN U.S. OFFICIALLY ENDED 155 YEARS AGO

One of the great misconceptions in United States history is that President Lincoln ended slavery in this country when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, effective January 1, 1863. It did not happen then, and would not for over two more years.  So, when did slavery actually end in the U.S.? December 6, 1865, 155 years ago, when Georgia became the 27th state needed to ratify the […]

ENTRY TO NATIONAL PARKS, OTHER FEDERAL LANDS NOW FREE TO ALL VETERANS, GOLD STAR FAMILIES

Veterans of the United States military, along with those who lost family members, can now enter Yosemite, Yellowstone, or any other national park in the United States at no charge. Once available only to disabled veterans, the benefit expanded to all veterans and Gold Star families beginning Veterans Day 2020, and available at more than […]

MANY VETERANS FIND DIFFERENT WAYS TO SERVE AFTER MUSTERING OUT OF THE MILITARY

Each Veterans Day, we honor those who served to defend this nation. Parades. Shows. Visible well intentioned and well deserved thanks. Often lost in the moment is that for so many veterans, serving remains in their blood. It doesn’t end when they are handed their DD-214 discharge paperwork. To the contrary, they are just getting […]

CALVET’S RESPECT FOR LATINO VETERANS ETCHED IN STONE

Statues, in many cases, honor a person who symbolized leadership, bravery, and who set the example that others follow. The California Mexican-American Veterans Memorial, known as “El Soldado,” is different, though. It represents not an individual, but an entire culture of patriots. Consequently, with Latino Heritage Month coming to its close, the California Department of […]